Bette Midler Spotlights West Virginia Governor’s Failures Sparking Feud

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Courtesy of Governor Jim Justice (Flickr PDM)

Bete Midler spoke out against Joe Manchin’s (D-W.V.) refusal to support the Build Back Better (BBB) Act in a tweet last month. The singer and actress called West Virginians “poor, illiterate, and strung out.” She later apologized for her harsh words, but that did not appease West Virginia Gov. Jim Justice — he started a feud instead.

His challenge came at the end of his State of the Union address challenging Midler and “others like her” to see his state was doing splendidly. The governor further declared that the naysayers were wrong. To emphasize his point, on Saturday, Justice held his English bulldog Babydog’s rear end toward the cameras ending his stunt with “kiss her hiney.”

Courtesy of Walt Disney Television (Flickr CC0)

The singer’s quick response further fed angry battle-hungry Twitter users who are tired of American politicians seeming ambivalent about the needs of the people who elected them.

Not only did Manchin refuse to vote for President Joe Biden’s BBB legislation, but he also refused to discuss ending the filibuster to ensure passage of the John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act and the Freedom to Vote Act.

He and Sen. Kyrsten Sinema (D-Ariz.) stood in the way of guaranteeing their fellow Americans the right to free and fair elections.

Midler, a New Yorker, offered evidence that the tweet she posted last month was accurate that included a screenshot showing West Virginia’s legislators are failing and not doing splendidly as Justice claimed during his speech. The state’s overall ranking remained the same in 2021 as the previous year, N0. 47. Midler added:

BTW, here are the state rankings of all the areas and agencies for which the so-called “Governor” of WVA, #JimJustice, is responsible. Judging from these rankings, I’d say his dog’s [a**] would make a better Governor than him!

Based on the poor rankings, Gov. Justice’s boasting about his state’s stability demonstrates his inability to serve his constituents. The ranking reports are calculated in eight categories, health care, education, economy, infrastructure, opportunity, fiscal stability, crime & corrections, and natural environment for an average of three years. The annual survey asked almost 70,000 individuals to prioritize each in their state, according to U.S. News & World Report.

West Virginia’s rankings in each category are; healthcare, No. 47; education, No. 45; economy, No. 48; infrastructure, N0. 50; opportunity, No. 18; fiscal stability, No. 28, crime & corrections, No. 23; and natural environment, No. 36.

Midler and “the other” naysayers are not wrong in assessing West Virginia’s lack of well-being. The state’s legislators have let their constituents down. The balanced budget Justice spoke of on Saturday, while boasting how well the state is doing, might be the ultimate goal — but should it be balanced at the expense of the citizens?

Written by Cathy Milne-Ware


CNN: Bette Midler hits back at West Virginia governor’s request she kiss his dog’s derrière; by Veronica Stracqualursi
ABC News: West Virginia governor shows dog’s ‘heinie,’ tells Bette Midler to kiss it during televised address; by Leah Willingham
Sky News: Bette Midler: West Virginia governor Jim Justice raises dog’s backside in the air and tells actress to ‘kiss her hiney!’ By Tom Gillespie
NPR: The Senate is set to debate voting rights. Here’s what the bills would do; by Brian Naylor
U.S.News & World Report: West Virginia

Featured and Top Image Governor Jim Justice’s Flickr Page – Public Domain License
First Inset Image by Rick Rowell Courtesy of Walt Disney Television’s Flickr Page – Creative Commons License

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